West Palm Beach, Fla. (April 15, 2022) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for March 2022 announced today dropped to a record low 2.6 percent, below the year-ago rate of 4.9 percent, and below the 3.8 percent national rate and Florida’s 2.7 percent rate. The county’s unemployment rate has remained below the nation’s for 20 months and the state for 19 months, according to the latest monthly reports released today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (all numbers not seasonally adjusted).
In addition, for nine consecutive months, there are more job openings than unemployed people in Palm Beach County – 40,134 job openings vs. 19,235 unemployed people in March. Total nonagricultural employment in the county is 659,700 adding 32,700 jobs over the year – a 5.2 percent gain.
“We’re still seeing very strong gains in the job market along with historically low unemployment rates,” said Julia Dattolo, President and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County. “We are, however, closely watching to see how higher interest rates, inflation at a 40-year high, and the conflict in Ukraine impact the labor market in the coming months.”
Job growth by industry sector: For an entire year, the leisure/hospitality industry sector has led the county in over-the-year job growth – adding 10,800 jobs for a 13.4 percent jump. Jobs in five industry sectors -- other services, financial activities, trade/transportation/utilities, education/health services, and government -- grew faster in the county than statewide over the year.
By the numbers, over-the-year job gains/losses in Palm Beach County were:
Industry Change Total jobs
Leisure/hospitality +10,800 jobs 91,100
Trade/transportation/utilities +7,900 jobs 123,500
Education/health services +5,100 jobs 108,100
Financial activities +3,200 jobs 47,800
Other services +2,600 jobs 33,300
Manufacturing +1,000 jobs 21,400
Construction +900 jobs 39,400
Information +700 jobs 10,300
Government +600 jobs 63,200
Professional/business services -100 jobs 121,400
Outside of the Great Depression, the county’s record high unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent in April 2020. The previous record low unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in Dec. 2019.
“We’ve made a remarkable recovery from the pandemic,” Ms. Dattolo said. “The labor force – a measure of the number of those working or looking for work – is above pre-pandemic levels.”
Two years ago, every industry sector was impacted by the pandemic. Those that were most affected -- such as hospitality, retail and construction -- have roared back to life.
Palm Beach County benefited from the pandemic in an unusual way – with many businesses relocating to the area from other parts of the country. As an example, more than 90 financial firms relocated or are in the process of relocating here, adding to the diversity of the area’s economy. Nearly 2,500 financial firms are currently located in the county, employing more than 46,000 workers at an average annual salary of $78,032.
Up to $8K Available to Eligible Veterans and Spouses for Job Training
Up to $8,000 is now available to eligible veterans and their spouses for job training through CareerSource Palm Beach County's Careers for Veterans Grant program. The program pays for licenses, degrees, and certifications to help veterans and their spouses gain credentials for many in-demand careers. More than 400 credentials are available.
“Many area employers actively seek to hire veterans because of the knowledge, skills and attributes they have acquired in a wide variety of specialized fields during their service,” said Ms. Dattolo, who is a U.S. Navy veteran. “The Careers for Veterans Grant program is designed to assist eligible veterans and their spouses who are seeking training that leads to employment."
Applying for the program is easy – go to the CareerSource website at www.careersourcepbc.com
to take a quick 11-question survey. A CareerSource Veterans Services staff member will receive the results to determine eligibility and suitability, and contact applicants with the determination and information.
Looking for a New Career? Here’s Help!
CareerSource offers virtual and in-person job fairs, classes and facilities for job searches, grants for job skills training for those who qualify, career development and consulting – at no cost! During the past five program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 60,000 residents find employment ranging from entry-level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $1.2 billion in annual wages. CareerSource also awarded $10.1 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance during that time. More information is at www.careersourcepbc.com.
CareerSource also provides services to help rebuild and sustain businesses in today’s challenging marketplace. CareerSource absorbs the cost of most of these services including recruitment,
assessments and referrals of qualified job candidates; space and staff assistance for screening/interviewing candidates; and grants for training employees.
Next monthly employment reports for Florida and Palm Beach County: State and local employment reports for April 2022 are scheduled for release on May 20, 2022.
Note to editors: You are invited to interview a CareerSource spokesperson on local employment and economic trends. Please call 561.340.1061 ext. 2229 for scheduling.
Note: The unemployment rate is a measure of how many people in the labor force are out of a job. For example, if total employment holds constant and unemployed Americans stop looking for work, thereby leaving the labor force, the unemployment rate will fall even though no jobs have been added. Conversely, if employment holds steady and recent graduates enter the labor force looking for work, the unemployment rate will rise even though no jobs have disappeared.
IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE STEVENS AMENDMENT:
CareerSource Palm Beach County, Inc. is the direct service provider for various workforce programs supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and other agencies as part of awards totaling $17,610,090 (revised annually). Unless otherwise stipulated, all statements, news releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations and other applicable documents are fully funded from federal sources.